|Publication number||US7837772 B2|
|Application number||US 12/753,608|
|Publication date||Nov 23, 2010|
|Filing date||Apr 2, 2010|
|Priority date||Jun 10, 2005|
|Also published as||CA2650987A1, CA2650987C, CA2865347A1, CA2865347C, CA2865445A1, CA2865445C, CN101193688A, CN101193688B, EP1899035A2, EP1899035A4, EP1899035B1, US7615109, US7951230, US20060278087, US20100050876, US20100175559, US20110061540, WO2007032796A2, WO2007032796A3|
|Publication number||12753608, 753608, US 7837772 B2, US 7837772B2, US-B2-7837772, US7837772 B2, US7837772B2|
|Original Assignee||Electrolux Home Care Products, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (141), Non-Patent Citations (12), Referenced by (2), Classifications (29), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/615,742 filed Nov. 10, 2009, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/417,167 filed May 4, 2006 now U.S. Pat. No. 7,615,109, and claims priority to provisional application 60/689,255, filed on Jun. 10, 2005 and provisional application 60/706,063, filed on Aug. 8, 2005. All four of these applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
The present invention relates to vacuum cleaners, central vacuum cleaners, extraction cleaning devices, and other cleaning appliances having chemical neutralizing features.
Many types of cleaning devices are available for commercial and consumer cleaning needs. For example, conventional vacuums are often used for general floor cleaning, central vacuum systems have been developed for a convenient means of general floor cleaning, various types of extraction cleaners have been developed to provide deeper or more problem-specific carpet and upholstery cleaning, and cleaning wands having dry or moistened disposable wipes are used for quickly cleaning hard surfaces.
A common problem among these and other cleaning appliances is that they often pick up or develop odors from the substances that they clean off the floor. Such odors can make it undesirable to operate or clean the appliance, or give the perception that the cleaning appliance is not cleaning effectively, and result in customer dissatisfaction with the device. These odors may also present a perceived health risk.
Various attempts have been made to address the accumulation of odors in cleaning appliances. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,461,751, which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a vacuum cleaner having a cedar insert in the vacuum bag that acts as an air freshener and pesticide. In another device, shown in International Patent Publication WO 01/08543 A1, an adsorbent material such as activated carbon is introduced into a vacuum dust filter bag. While the foregoing developments have been useful for controlling or masking odors, they have not conclusively solved the problem of lingering odors in cleaning appliances and preventing odors on surfaces being cleaned.
In view of these and other problems, there remains a need to provide improved methods and apparatuses for controlling odors in cleaning appliances.
In one aspect, there is provided a vacuum cleaner filter assembly having a filter frame, a filter, and a deodorizer chamber. The filter frame has an enclosed perimeter defined by one or more frame side walls. The filter is mounted in the filter frame, and has a working surface area through which air can pass during use. The deodorizer chamber has a first chamber side wall connected to a first portion of the one or more frame side walls, and a second chamber side wall connected a second portion of the one or more frame side walls. The deodorizer chamber also has at least one filter-facing portion facing a first portion of the filter, and the chamber defines a passage from the at least one filter-facing portion to a portion of the chamber not facing the filter. At least one deodorant, such as one or more pellets of sodium bicarbonate or other deodorizing material, is contained in the deodorizer chamber. The filter assembly provides parallel first and second air flow paths. The first air flow path extends through the first portion of the filter and the deodorizer chamber, and the second air flow path extends through a second portion of the filter that is not covered by the deodorizer chamber and does not extend through the deodorizer chamber.
In one aspect, there is provided a vacuum cleaner filter assembly having a rectangular filter frame, a filter, and a pellet chamber. The filter frame has first and second frame side walls spaced from each other by a filter frame width, and first and second frame end walls joining the first and second frame side walls and spaced from each other by a filter frame length. The filter is mounted in the filter frame, and has a working surface area through which air can pass during use. At least a portion of the filter has a plurality of pleats. The pellet chamber has a first chamber side wall connected to the first frame side wall, and a second chamber side wall connected to the second frame side wall. The pellet chamber also has a rectangular filter-facing portion facing a first portion of the filter, and the pellet chamber defines a passage from the filter-facing portion to a portion of the pellet chamber not facing the filter. A number of discrete deodorizer pellets are contained in the pellet chamber. The deodorizer pellets include an odor neutralizing substance. The filter assembly provides parallel first and second air flow paths. The first air flow path extends through the first portion of the filter and the pellet chamber, and the second air flow path extends through a second portion of the filter that is not covered by the pellet chamber and does not extend through the pellet chamber. The entire filter assembly is connected as a single replaceable operative unit. The filter assembly is adapted to filter all of a total air flow passing through it, and deodorize only a portion of the total air flow passing through it.
In one aspect, there is provided a vacuum cleaner filter assembly having a filter frame, at least one air-permeable filter, and an air-permeable deodorizer chamber. The filter frame has a number of frame members, including two side frame members and two end frame members. The filter frame defines an outer boundary of an air passage through which air can pass during use. The filter is mounted to the filter frame, and extends between the frame members across substantially the entire air passage. At least a portion of the at least one filter is pleated. The deodorizer chamber extends between and is attached to two at least two of the frame members, and the deodorizer chamber has a filter-facing portion. An effective amount of deodorizer is contained in the deodorizer chamber. The filter assembly provides first and second air flow paths, in which the first air flow path extends through a first portion of the at least one filter and through the deodorizer chamber, and the second air flow path extends through a second portion of the at least one filter that is not covered by the chamber.
Other uses and variations on the foregoing will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art after studying the present disclosure and practicing the invention described herein.
The present invention provides methods and apparatuses for neutralizing odors in cleaning appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, central vacuum systems, extractors, and cleaning wands. The methods and apparatuses preferably use sodium bicarbonate, a non-toxic and non-irritating substance having the chemical formula NaHCO3, and often referred to as baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate is a known compound, and is generally provided as a white, powdered substance, but it is also known to form it into a solid form or a liquid slurry. It is in widespread use as a cooking additive, for acid reduction, and as a mild abrasive for cleaning. Sodium bicarbonate also acts as a deodorizer by neutralizing the acidic or basic components of odors and turning them into non-volatile salts. Various commercial products have been developed to use sodium bicarbonate in refrigerators and on carpets to reduce odors produced by foods, pets, smoke, and other sources. An example of a product that is used for deodorizing carpets is sold under the name A
Referring to the included Figures, in a first embodiment, the present invention provides a sodium bicarbonate chemical neutralizer that is used in conjunction with a vacuum cleaner 100 having a bag-type dirt filter 102. Numerous variations of this embodiment are envisioned, and for ease of illustration a number of these variations are shown on a single vacuum cleaner 100 in
The vacuum cleaner of
The nozzle 108 is connected to the filter bag 102 by an inlet conduit 110. A typical inlet conduit 110 comprises a series of rigid and/or flexible tubes. All or a portion or the conduit 110 may be transparent to help locate clogs, and a portion of the conduit 110 may be removable to assist with cleaning clogs therefrom. An example of a conduit 110 having a transparent, removable portion is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,991,791, which is incorporated herein by reference. The inlet conduit 110 may be detachable from the base 104 for use as an above-floor cleaning hose, or may include a valve that cuts off airflow from the inlet 108 and redirects the airflow to a separate above-floor cleaning hose. Such devices are known in the art.
A conventional fan and motor assembly 101 is used to generate a vacuum to draw dirt-laden air into the nozzle 108, through the conduit 110, and into the dust bag 102. The fan may be fluidly located at some point in the conduit 110 to convey the dirt-laden air to the filter bag 102 under positive pressure, or may be located downstream of the filter bag 102 to draw dirt-laden air into the filter bag 102 under a vacuum. The second alternative is shown in
The filter bag 102 is located within a bag chamber 112 on the rear housing 106, which is covered by a suitable lid 114. The chamber 112 and lid 114 may optionally be replaced by an air-permeable fabric cover as may be desired when the fan is positioned to convey the air into the filter bag 102 under pressure. The filter bag 102 is releasably mounted to the end of the conduit 110 by a mounting tube 115 that fits into a corresponding mounting flange 118 on the filter bag 102. This type of bag mounting arrangement is known in the art, and shown, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,119,414; 6,217,641; and 6,484,352, which are incorporated herein by reference. A lock-out device (not shown) may be provided to prevent operation of the vacuum cleaner 100 or closure of the lid 114 without the presence of the filter bag 102.
Other features and accessories of the vacuum cleaner 100 will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art, and the invention is not intended to be limited to any particular construction. Non-limiting examples of typical vacuum cleaners and features that can be used with the present invention are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,376,322; 5,309,361; 6,122,796; and 6,308,374, which are incorporated herein by reference. Furthermore, while the embodiments of
The vacuum cleaner 100 of
In another embodiment, a slurry of sodium bicarbonate is printed or painted onto the filter bag material before or after it is formed into the filter bag 102. The sodium bicarbonate may also be provided in a powdered form that is captured between layers of the filter bag 102. A particular advantage these embodiments is that the supply of sodium bicarbonate is renewed whenever the filter bag 102 is replaced. In either of these embodiments, it is believed that the amount of sodium bicarbonate can be adjusted so that it provides odor neutralization, while not unduly reducing the permeability of the filter bag 102. For example, if the sodium bicarbonate is painted on the filter bag 102, this may be done so in stripes or other patterns that leave portions of the filter bag 102 in their original, porous state. When capturing the sodium bicarbonate between the layers of the filter bag, the basis weight of the sodium bicarbonate can be adjusted to minimize any detrimental effects on the bag's porosity.
In another embodiment, an odor neutralizing structure of sodium bicarbonate is formed as a rigid sleeve 122 that fits within the inlet conduit 110. In this embodiment, the conduit 110 can be selectively opened or detached to allow the sleeve 122 to be inserted therein. As the incoming dirt-laden air passes through the conduit 110 and the sleeve 122, the sleeve 122 gradually erodes, thus providing controlled distribution of the sodium bicarbonate into the filter bag 102, where it can react with the collected matter to neutralize offensive odors. The sleeve 122 may be located within a transparent, removable portion of the conduit 123 to assist the user in determining when the sleeve 122 is at or near the end of its useful life.
In a variation of this embodiment, the sodium bicarbonate my be adhered to the interior walls of a portion of the conduit 110, rather than provided as a replaceable sleeve 122. In this embodiment, the portion of the conduit 110 to which the sodium bicarbonate is adhered may be provided as a replacement part for use when the original supply is fully eroded, or adhesive-backed inserts may be provided as replacements.
The sodium bicarbonate may also be molded into a rigid insert 116 that fits over or within the bag mounting tube 115. In this embodiment, the insert 116 is installed on or in the mounting tube 115 whenever a new bag is placed in the device, or whenever the insert becomes sufficiently eroded. The sodium bicarbonate may also be formed as a tube that serves as the mounting tube 115 itself. An advantage of this construction is that the consumer is not able to mount the filter bag 102 and operate the device without the sodium bicarbonate form being present.
Referring now to
The bagless dustcup 200 of
Sodium bicarbonate odor neutralizers can be integrated into the dirt cup 200 in a number of ways, but are preferably provided as sacrificial solid forms of sodium bicarbonate that are located in the airstream such that they are gradually eroded by the air flowing through the device, or as sodium bicarbonate-impregnated filter elements located within the dirt cup 200. In a first embodiment, shown in
In another embodiment, also shown in
The pleated filter 216 of the embodiment of
Other embodiments of the invention do not include a pleated filter 216. For example, the filter 216 may be replaced by a conical or cylindrical perforated or screen cyclone center 224, as shown in
Other variations on sacrificial, renewable sodium bicarbonate inserts and other forms will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the present disclosure and with practice of the invention.
Referring now to
In a first embodiment, shown in
In another embodiment, shown in
In another embodiment, shown in
In another embodiment of
In still another embodiment of
In still another embodiment, of
Referring now to
The upright wet extractor 400 of
The portable extractor 402 of
Sodium bicarbonate 403 can be introduced into either wet extractor 400, 402 in a number of ways. In a first embodiment of the invention, the sodium bicarbonate 403 is placed directly in the supply tank 408 in a powder 450, tablet 452, or liquid 454 form, and distributed on the carpet with the cleaning fluid. In another embodiment, the sodium bicarbonate is placed in the separate auxiliary tank 412, and mixed with clean water from the supply tank 408. In this embodiment, the sodium bicarbonate may be used alone as a liquid concentrate, or may be mixed with detergents or other chemicals in the auxiliary tank 412. The mixture ratio of the sodium bicarbonate and the clean water may be fixed or variable, and any type of metering system may be used to control the mixture of sodium bicarbonate concentrate from the auxiliary tank 412 with the clean water from the supply tank 408. Such metering systems are known in the art, and shown, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,570,856 and 6,286,180, which are incorporated by reference herein.
In another embodiment, the sodium bicarbonate is located in one or more pass-through reservoirs located in the fluid flow path between the supply tank 408 and the sprayer(s). For example,
The pass-through reservoir 416 of
In a variation of the foregoing embodiment shown in
In any of the forgoing embodiments in which the sodium bicarbonate is placed in a reservoir, the reservoir may be provided with a filter to prevent large sodium bicarbonate particles from clogging the wet extractor's fluid deposition system.
In another embodiment of the invention shown in
The foregoing examples are not intended to limit the invention, and other variations on using sodium bicarbonate with wet extractors will be appreciated in light of the present disclosure and with practice of the invention. The use of sodium bicarbonate with extractors in the manners described above is expected to provide numerous benefits. For example, it is expected to provide additional cleaning benefits by virtue of the mildly abrasive nature of the sodium bicarbonate. It is also expected to enhance odor neutralization in the surface being cleaned by leaving a slight residue of sodium bicarbonate thereon. The recovered sodium bicarbonate is also expected to reduce odors in the supply tanks, as well as in the inlet nozzle 414, 436, vacuum hose 434, and recovery tank 410, 430. This can be particularly advantageous when the extractor is used frequently, or is used infrequently and not thoroughly cleaned after every use. The sodium bicarbonate should also reduce odors in the sink or other receptacle into which the recovery tank may be emptied.
Referring now to
In a first variation of the present invention, shown in
In this embodiment, the device is provided with a cleaning pad 514, which is retained on the cleaning head 504 by any suitable device, such as strings 516, clips or other devices. The cleaning pad 514 has a multilayered construction having a first layer 514 a, a second layer 514 b, and a third layer 514 c sandwiched between the first and second layers. The first and second layers 514 a, 514 b preferably comprise fabric, sponge or non-woven materials. The third layer preferably comprises a layer of sodium bicarbonate in solid or powder form.
The cleaning pad 514 may be provided in any suitable form. For example, as shown in
In a variation of this embodiment, shown in
It is also envisioned that the sodium bicarbonate can be provided in a solid form and ground into a powder when odor removal is desired. Variations on this embodiment are shown in FIGS. 6 and 7A-7G. These deposition systems may be used in conjunction with any type of vacuum cleaner, central vacuum system, extractor, or cleaning wand. A first of these embodiments is shown in
Referring now to
The plunger 704 and abrasion surface 705 are provided on the dustcup lid 701 and positioned such that the plunger 704 slides the abrasion surface 705 relative to the sodium bicarbonate bar 702. This relative movement abrades the bar 702 and creates sodium bicarbonate particles 708, which fall through a hole 707 into the dustcup. The plunger 704 and abrasion surface 705 may be formed integrally as a single part, or may alternatively be manufactured as two separate and assembled or operatively associated pieces. The plunger 704 is also preferably biased by a spring 711 in an up position requiring the operator to only push the plunger 704 to grind the bar 702. This arrangement allows the user to press and release the plunger 704 repeatedly until the desired amount of sodium bicarbonate particles 708 is generated.
Alternatively, the plunger 704 may instead be biased in a down position or not biased at all. If the plunger 704 is not biased in either direction, the user will have to both push and pull on the plunger 704 to generate the particles 708. If the plunger 704 is only biased in a down position, then the user will only need to pull and release the plunger 704. Requiring a user to pull on the plunger 704 will likely require a pull handle on the plunger 704. For simplicity, such a handle is not depicted.
Other variations of the plunger-style deposition system 700 may include a side moving plunger 704, an electrically powered plunger 704, or a combination of both. Examples of electrically powered plungers may include coupling the plunger 704 to a solenoid, linear motor, or an electric motor or air-turbine drive coupled to the plunger 704 via a cam, crankshaft and piston combination, or other mechanical arrangement to create the linear motion. Such electric and mechanical devices are generally known in the art and are therefore not shown.
The abrasion surface 705 should be manufactured from a material hard and tough enough to successfully abrade the sodium bicarbonate bar 702 and not break apart itself. Most hard plastics, such as structural ABS plastic, should be suitable. The abrasion surface teeth 712 should be spaced sufficiently apart to reduce the likelihood of sodium bicarbonate powder and dust accumulating on the abrasion surface 705 and reducing the abrasion surface's effectiveness. In addition, the abrasion surface 705 may be provided with teeth 712 that cut on the pushing stroke, the return stroke, or both.
Other variations on the abrasion surface 705 provide openings 713 in the abrasion surface 705 between the teeth 712. These openings 713 allow freshly abraded sodium bicarbonate particles 708 to pass from the sodium bicarbonate bar 702 and through the abrasion surface 705 to reach the dustcup interior. Any powder accumulating between the teeth 712 would be pushed through these openings 713 at the abrasion surface's 705 next passing over the sodium bicarbonate bar 702. Thus, openings 713 in the abrasion surface 705 act to reduce the likelihood of sodium bicarbonate powder sticking between the abrasion surface teeth 712 and reducing the abrasion surface's 705 effectiveness.
Another element of deposition system 700 of
As shown in
The embodiment of
A first example of the foregoing variations of the invention is shown in
The manual deposition system 700 of
The present invention also contemplates using heat to provide controlled deposition of sodium bicarbonate into the vacuum cleaner. In a further embodiment of a deposition system 810, shown in
An additional variation on this embodiment provides airflow vanes (not shown) on the cage vents 818, and means to rotate the cage 814 during vacuum operation. As the cage 814 rotates, the vanes draw air into the cage 814 and to the sodium bicarbonate block 812. The cage 814 may be rotated by the vacuum motor 816, or by a vacuum airflow driven air-turbine drive or other motor, or the vanes may be moved by an incoming airflow (such as the fan motor exhaust). In addition, the sodium bicarbonate block 812 may be secured to the rotating cage 814, or may be stationary relative to the rotating cage 814. The vanes may also act as additional heat sinks to help heat the block 812 by conduction.
In another embodiment, shown in
When used with conventional dust bag filters, the sheet 900 may be simply inserted into the bag inlet before it is attached to the vacuum cleaner. When used with dirt cup filters, such as the cyclone separator 904 shown in
Referring now to
A typical bag filter comprises one or more air pervious flexible sheets of material that are assembled together to form a generally air-permeable enclosure. The exemplary bag filters 1012 shown herein comprise sidewalls 1013, one or more optional end walls 1023 (only depicted in the embodiment of
A flange 1020 is adhered to an opening in the bag 1012 to form an inlet 1016. The flange 1020 adds stability to the inlet 1016 and further assists in sealing the bag 1012 to the vacuum cleaner. The flange 1020 is preferably made from cardboard, paperboard, or plastic. The flange 1020 and inlet 1016 may be placed on a sidewall 1013 (
The sodium bicarbonate sheet 1000 may simply be placed inside the bag filter 1012, but more preferably is adhesively bonded or sewn to the inner surface 1014 of the bag filter 1012. The location and air permeability of the sheet 1000 can be modified to obtain several expected beneficial results. In a preferred embodiment, the sheet 1000 is adhered to the inner surface 1014 with an air-impermeable adhesive that covers about 5%, to about 20% of the sheet area, and most preferably about 6% of the sheet area. In this embodiment, the sheet 1000 is preferably substantially air permeable, to generally reduce the bag's overall resistance to air flow, but it is believed that the use of substantial area of air-impermeable adhesive will block some airflow to deflect the air through the plane of the sheet to agitate the sodium bicarbonate and release it into the bag 1012. Alternatively, the sheet 1000 may be mostly or completely air-impervious, or provided with an air impermeable backing, which would increase the bag's overall airflow resistance, but is expected to cause the incoming air to strike and travel along the sheet to better distribute the sodium bicarbonate into the bag's interior.
As shown in
In a preferred embodiment, such as the ones in
Referring specifically to
In operation, the incoming stream of dust-laden air 1018 enters the dustbag 1012, and strikes the sheet 1000. The restricting layer 1001 redirects some or all of the air to the bottom of the bag 1012. The turbulent airflow created by this drastic airflow redirection dislodges the active ingredients of the deodorizing mix from the sheet 1000, and allows the sodium bicarbonate and other deodorizing agents to more readily mix with the air and dust. Such dislodged particles remain in contact with the dust while the vacuum sits idle, increasing the effectiveness of the deodorizers. This is useful because a vacuum's idle time is typically much greater than its operational time.
In the embodiment of
A preferred embodiment for producing an impregnated sheet for use with the present invention is depicted in
Other useful compounds that may be used with the present invention include, but are not limited to, activated carbons, activated charcoal, diatomaceous earths, cyclodextrin, quaternary ammonium salts, silane quaternary ammonium salts, clays, fragrance oils, and the like. Suitable mixtures include, for example, about 50-100 wt. % (weight percentage) of sodium bicarbonate, about 0-10 wt. % of zeolites, about 0-20 wt. % of activated carbon, about 0-5 wt. % of quaternary ammonium salts, about 0-5 wt. % of silane quaternary ammonium salts and about 0-2 wt. % of fragrance oils. In a preferred embodiment, the adhesive may be provided as about 2-6 wt. % of the deodorant composition, but may alternatively be provided as about 5-15 wt. %, and more preferably about 5-10 wt. % to better adhere the deodorizing particles to the sheets and adhere the sheets to one another.
The first non-woven sheet 1120 preferably comprises a non-woven polyester sheet with a thickness of 1.88 mm. Such a sheet is sold as style PN 232 by the Precision Custom Coatings Company of Totowa, N.J. Other suitable sheet materials may have a thickness of about 0.05 to 6.00 mm and a basis weight of about 25 to 200 gsm (grams per square meter). More preferably, the first sheet 1120 is about 0.50 to 4.00 mm thick, or even more preferably about 1.00 to 3.00 mm thick. Suitable alternative materials include, for example, natural fibers, other synthetic fibers, or open cell foams. The sheet is provided as a roll 1121 (as shown), as separate sheets, or manufactured from raw materials on the manufacturing line itself. When provided in a roll 1121, the sheet 1120 may be passed through a sheet spreader 1122, which pulls the sheet 1120 laterally, to make the sheet taut. The sheet 1120 then passes under a sifter 1124, or other type of deposition device, such as a vibratory feeder, which deposits the sodium bicarbonate deodorizing mixture 1126 onto the sheet 1120. It has been found that a portion of the mixture 1126 sinks down into the thickness of the sheet 1120, but much of it remains at or near the sheet's surface.
The sheet 1120, with the deodorizing mixture 1126 sifted onto it, then passes through a curing oven 1128. Heating lamps, hot air, or any other suitable heat source may be used in the oven 1128. The oven 1128 heats the surface of the sheet 1120 to melt the hot melt adhesive in the mixture 1126 and thereby bind the sacrificial deodorizing elements of the deodorizing mixture 1126 to the sheet 1120. A suitable temperature for the process is a sheet surface temperature of about 100° F.-300° F., and more preferably about 270° F. or 280° F.-300° F. The foregoing temperatures have been found to be suitable to bind the deodorizing compounds in place without damaging them or the sheet 1120, and without unduly coating the deodorizing compounds with adhesive.
It will be understood that the temperature and length of time in the oven can be adjusted to obtain the most favorable coating of the hot melt adhesive on the deodorant components and the sheet 1120. Too much heat may result in damage to the sheet 1120 or deodorants, or may cause excessive coating of the deodorant by the adhesive. Too little heat may result in insufficient binding of the deodorant. Preferably, the sheet 1120 is exposed to the heat just long enough to obtain a surface temperature of about 270° F. or 280° F. to 300° F., but this target temperature may vary depending on the type of sheet material or amount or composition of the deodorizing mixture 1126. This target temperature can be varied by any suitable means, such as varying the line speed, oven length, oven temperature, and so on, as will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art.
After the first sheet 1120 emerges from the oven 1128, a second sheet 1130 is laid on the first sheet 1120 to overlie the deodorizing mixture 1126. The second sheet 1130 is provided to help capture the deodorizing mixture 1126 in place and reduce the dustiness of the finished product 1134 but is air permeable to allow airflow to the deodorizing mixture 1126. In the preferred embodiment, the second sheet 1130 comprises a PES (polyethersulfone) and rayon scrim with a thickness of about 0.203 mm. The Precision Custom Coatings Company of Totowa, N.J., sells such a sheet as style PC 858. This second sheet 1130 is unwound from a roll 1135 and pressed onto the first sheet 1120 and deodorizing mixture 1126 after it emerges from the oven 1128, and while it is still warm. Rollers 1132 compress the two sheets together at a pressure of about 50-200 pounds per square inch of pressure, and more preferably about 80 pounds per square inch. By applying the second sheet 1130 immediately downstream of the oven 1128, it can be held in place by the still-warm hot melt adhesive, an no additional adhesive is required. Of course, a separate adhesive may be used to supplement the hot melt adhesive, or if it is desired to apply the second sheet 1130 at a location where the hot melt adhesive in the deodorizing mixture 1126 is not longer warm.
As the adhesive cools, it adheres the two sheets 1120, 1130 and the deodorizing mixture 1126 together. The finished product 1134 is about 0.50-5.00 mm thick, and more preferably about 2 mm thick (with potential for significant variation caused by the handling process and due to variations in the sheets' starting thickness and processing), with 3 layers: the first sheet 1120, the deodorizing mixture 1126, and the second sheet 1130.
The process ends with the final product 1134 being rolled onto a final roll 1135. This product 1134 may now be cut into various shapes and sizes and utilized as described herein, preferably, but not necessarily, with the second sheet 1130 facing inwards into the bag filter. The finished product 1134 is preferably cut with an ultrasonic, thermal, or other self-sealing process. A self-sealing process binds the layers of the sheet together at the cut, and thus ensures minimal loss of the deodorizing mix 1126 after cutting. If a self-sealing method is not employed, then the amount of deodorizing mix 1126 may be increased, preferably by about 5% to 10% to account for the losses that may occur in the manufacturing process, and/or the amount of adhesive may optionally be increased to about 5-15 wt. %, and more preferably to about 5-10 wt. % to ensure sealing of the sheets and adherence of the deodorizing composition.
The size of the finished sodium bicarbonate impregnated sheet will vary, depending on the amount of dirt that is expected to accumulate in the particular application in which the sheet is used. Larger sheets generally would be used when greater amounts of dirt are expected to accumulate. Deodorizing sheets made from the previously described process have been found to be effective in reducing the odor released from a vacuum cleaner when cut to sizes ranging from 16 in2 to 40 in2 and when used to replace a standard filter used in a bagless vacuum dustcup. Smaller sheets, as small as 2 in2 or even smaller, may be effective in small handheld vacuums, and much larger sheets may be used in large-capacity shop vacuums and central vacuums. It is believed that in applications in which the sheet is used within a dirt container (as opposed to being outside the actual dirt container, as in the case of sheets used, for example, with post-motor filters) there is a directly proportional relationship between the size of the dirt container and the size of the sheet necessary to provide effective odor prevention.
A preferred embodiment, such as one that is preferred to be used with the embodiments of
“Load” represents the amount of deodorizing mixture per square yard of sheet with 10 oz/yd2 being the preferred amount. “Spread Rate,” expressed in oz/min, represents the rate the deodorizing mixture 1126 is spread onto the non-woven sheet 1120. “Sheet Speed” is the linear speed the sheet 1120 passes under the sifter 1124, and is expressed in yd/min. Finally, “Sheet Width” is the lateral width of the sheet as expressed in yards. Given the equation above, one skilled in the art can determine the parameters required to deposit 10 oz of mixture 1126 onto 1 square yard of sheet. One embodiment provides a spread rate of 40 oz/min, which would require a sheet speed of 4 yds/min for a 1 yd wide sheet.
Referring now to
After the deodorizing mixture 1226 is applied to the sheet 1240 and agitated into the sheet 1240 by the cam 1244, the sheet 1240 and mixture 1226 pass under a hot water vapor mist 1246 or a warm water spray. The water or water vapor mist 1246 emulsifies the adhesive so that the adhesive bonds the sodium bicarbonate to the fibers of the non-woven sheet 1240. After being impregnated with sodium bicarbonate in this manner, the sheet 1240 passes into an oven (as shown above) or under a fan 1248, which may also have an air heating element, to evaporate excess moisture and dry the impregnated material. As the adhesive cools and dries, it bonds the deodorizing elements of the mixture 1226 to the sheet 1240 and creates an impregnated sheet designated as 1250. Sheet 1250 is collected onto a final roll 1251, and may now be cut into various shapes and sizes and utilized as described herein. A cross-section of the sheet 1250 is illustrated in
It should be noted that in the foregoing embodiment, the hot water vapor step 1246, may be omitted if the operation of the cam 1244 is suitable to obtain the desired penetration of the mixture 1246 in the sheet 1240.
It will be understood that the foregoing embodiments are exemplary only, and variations of these embodiments and other embodiments will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the teachings provided herein. In addition, it may be possible to mix the steps of the two processes described herein. As an example, the rotating cam 1244 of
Referring now to
To manufacture this embodiment, the disk 1300 is spun horizontally at a high rotational speed, while a sodium bicarbonate slurry 1302 is added to the disk center 1304, which is located at the vertical axis of rotation. The resulting centrifugal force slings the slurry away from the center 1304, as shown by the arrows, and distributes the slurry 1302 throughout the disk 1300. After the slurry 1302 is sufficiently distributed, the disk 1300 may be further spun to sling out excess water and assist with drying. Additional or alternative methods of drying the disk 1300 may include subjecting the disk 1300 to a heat source, forced-air convection, or a combination thereof.
Preferably, the sodium bicarbonate is dyed yellow, and the disk fabric 1301 is white, to provide a distinctive and unique appearance.
Slurries 1302, 1312 may also be provided with a hot melt adhesive, similar to the hot melt adhesive contained in mix 1126. If a hot melt adhesive is provided, then it will also be necessary to subject disks 1300, 1310 to a heat source, such as a forced-air convection oven, to activate the adhesive. This heating process would be similar to the oven process 1148 shown and described in
Other methods will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the present disclosure, and such other methods are included within the scope of the invention. Non-limiting examples of such variations include forming the sodium bicarbonate sheet as a layered non-woven material having powdered sodium bicarbonate distributed between or within the layers, or coating a sheet with sodium bicarbonate on its exterior surfaces.
Tests were conducted using Eureka Model 402 vacuum cleaners. The Eureka Model 402 vacuum cleaners were bagless and contained a cone shaped filter within the dust cup. A control filter was compared to a treated filter. The control filter was a standard untreated filter. The treated filter contained the deodorizing device of the present invention.
The deodorizing device included the deodorizing composition disposed between two nonwoven gas porous materials. The deodorizing composition contained about 91.5% sodium bicarbonate, 3.5% zeolite and 5% adhesive (G
The second nonwoven material used herein was a hydrophilic PES/rayon having a fabric weight of 0.75 oz/yd2 (25.4 g/m2); tensile strength in the machine direction of 10.8 lbs; tensile strength in the cross-machine direction of 0.5 lbs; and thickness of 8 mils (0.203 mm). The second nonwoven material served as the top layer of the deodorizing device. The second nonwoven material was a “scrim” that minimized dustiness of the product and allowed for good air flow. A suitable example of the second nonwoven material was obtained under the trade designation PC757, available from Precision Custom Coatings LLC, Totowa, N.J.
Each of the filtered dust cups was filled with soil that was enhanced to emit a noticeable household odor. The soil consisted of 50 grams of damp vacuum cleaner dust, 2.5 grams of cat urine (provided by Martin Creek Kennels, of Williford, Ariz.), and 1.25 grams of Limburger cheese. The cat urine provided a strong, characteristic pet odor and the Limburger cheese imitated human body odor and strong kitchen odors.
The Eureka Model 402 machines were equally loaded with soils and allowed to sit for 4 hours, and then placed inside cleaned new 30 gallon plastic garbage cans. The cans were used to contain the air emitted from the exhaust of the vacuum. The plastic lids on the garbage cans had sniffing ports cut into them through which panelists could sample the air therein.
After the 4 hour gestation time, the lids were sealed and the vacuums were activated for 5 seconds. The air ejected in this 5 second period represents the most odorous air, usually encountered at machine startup. It was captured in the cans for panelists to sample.
Twenty panelists rated the two cans on a 0 to 6 scale for malodor. A rating of 0 represented the least odor, a rating of 6 represented the most odor. The following table shows the result from two separate trials:
In the test, the difference between the treated and control was statistically different at the 99% confidence level.
Odor levels were measured in a sensory panel comparing a control sample to two treated samples. The odor studied in this test was 100 grams of damp vacuum cleaner dust. The tests were conducted by disposing the odors inside a 2 quart enclosed space.
The control sample had only the odor in the container. The two treated samples had the odors in the container and the deodorizing devices of the present invention where 7.4 grams of the deodorizing composition were loaded between two 6.25 in. square pieces of nonwoven material. The first “treated” sample contained 88% sodium bicarbonate, 7% Smellrite@, and 5% G
Eighteen panelists smelled the odor inside the 2-quart enclosed space and rated the smells on a 0 to 6 scale for malodor. A rating of 0 represented the least odor, a rating of 6 represented the most odor. The following table shows the result from the present test:
Treated Sample #1
Treated Sample #2
There was no statistically significant difference between the two samples and both of the treated samples had a statistically significant lower odor source than the control.
It should be understood that the foregoing embodiments are exemplary only, and other embodiments will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the teachings provided herein. Furthermore, while the foregoing description illustrates the use of various embodiments of sodium bicarbonate chemical neutralizers in use with various different types of cleaning device, it will be understood that the embodiments described with respect to each device may also be used with the other types of the device. For example, the sleeve 122 described with respect to the bagless vacuum in
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|1||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/antiodour.html "For genuine pet lovers!" (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|2||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/classic.html "The original quality!" (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|3||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/clinic.html "Super Clean with superior filtration!" (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|4||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/FAQantiOdour.html "FAQ 1. What is s-bag® Anti Odour?" (2 pages) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|5||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/FAQsfresh.html "FAQ 1. What is s-fresh(TM) ?" (3 pages) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|6||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/FAQsfresh.html "FAQ 1. What is s-fresh™ ?" (3 pages) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|7||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/homee/html "s-bag® : world's best seller ?" (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|8||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/list.html "How to Replace s-bag® ?" (2 pages) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|9||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/perfo.html "The Long Lasting bag" (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|10||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/range.html "The s-bag® Range" (2 pages) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|11||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/sfresh.html "Electrolux & Philips have developed s-fresh(TM). . . " (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
|12||Black & white printouts of http://www.s-bag.net/sfresh.html "Electrolux & Philips have developed s-fresh™. . . " (1 page) (printed Jul. 2006) (admitted prior art).|
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|U.S. Classification||96/222, 55/521, 55/511, 55/DIG.3|
|Cooperative Classification||A47L9/122, A61L9/01, A47L11/34, A47L9/1666, A47L13/22, A47L9/14, A47L7/04, A47L9/127, A47L9/1608, A47L11/4013, A61L9/014, Y10S55/03, Y10S55/02|
|European Classification||A61L9/01, A47L9/14, A47L13/22, A47L9/12B, A47L9/16B, A47L9/16E2, A47L9/12D, A61L9/014, A47L7/04, A47L11/34, A47L11/40D|
|Oct 5, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ELECTROLUX HOME CARE PRODUCTS NORTH AMERICA, ILLIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEPKE, ARNOLD;BOLKAN, STEVEN A.;ASHLEY, RAYMOND F.;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060421 TO 20060428;REEL/FRAME:025093/0411
|May 16, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4